With a new Impala not set to debut for several more years, the already stale model is in serious danger of becoming as relevant as an ’80s music montage. To help combat the car’s sinking appeal, Chevrolet will debut a restyled version for 2012 with some important changes that are more than skin deep.
With a new front and rear fascia, as well as an upgraded interior with a new woodgrain trim, the biggest update comes under the hood with the addition of a new 3.6-liter V6 engine. The same powerplant found in cars like the Chevy Camaro, the engine gets variable valve timing and will replace both the old base 3.5 and the optional 3.9-liter V6.
Power is estimated to be rated at 287-hp, with 258 lb-ft of torque available from 4400 rpm. That is a significant jump from the current base car’s 211-hp output, and is also a leap forward from the LTZ’s 224-hp. In addition, that engine will come mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission, (the current car still relies on a 4-speed auto-box), which is certain to deliver much-improved fuel economy.